Apple Really Does Review Apps!

For a while now, there has been a lot of speculation about just what the Apple AppStore review process consists of. Do they actually run the applications? Is it simply a rubber stamp? Is there any sort of criteria for acceptance or rejection? As a developer with a product in the AppStore I can confirm that the review process is very real and frankly this is a good thing!

The reason I bring this up is that besides having to prove export approval, Apple asked us for a copy of the desktop portion of eWallet so that they could review the synchronization process. Never that I know of have we had a distributor specifically tell us that they were going to test sync. Maybe they did, but I’m not convinced of that. I’m fairly certain the review process for most device software stores is much looser.

Now this process means some waiting to get apps OK’d by Apple, but in the end I believe that people will come to appreciate Apple’s careful approach to this. It will save hours of frustration for consumers who often have to “beta test” applications that don’t actually work as advertised.

So in the meantime, we’re waiting patiently. The Apple black box isn’t quite so black anymore (more of a dark grey) so we know what is happening and where we are in the process.

And in the end, I think the extra time folks have to wait to see an app go live will prove to be a long term benefit for everyone involved.

33 thoughts on “Apple Really Does Review Apps!

  1. Marc Post author

    I bet that even if they guessed they would be wrong. They are still quite new to this. Comparing statuses to the last time they reviewed eWallet, I’d say we’re pretty darned close, but we’ve never submitted a synched application. Although I LIKE that they are testing sync, I had no idea they would so obviously that has added a little time to the process.

  2. Bill H

    I, like many people, wait for the white smoke to rise from Cupertino, so in the meantime:

    What is the latest on ListPro? Do you plan on having a version that is ready to sync right away, or will you release it in two waves, like eWallet?

    Are the two syncing processes similar?

  3. Chris

    when did they request the desktop portion? Sounds like this was recent which is not good for our patience IMO.

  4. Kevin White

    One thing that worries me is what if Apple has some kind of initial problem syncing? Not really a ‘problem’, but what if they get a “your password doesn’t match” error? Will they consider that a failure (it is not a failure) or will they just figure out that they need matching passwords?

    That sort of thing worries me a little bit. I’ve seen rumors about stuff like “your app is rejected because you put the toolbar in the wrong place” or “your app is rejected because it is of limited utility” and I hope we don’t get rejected if the reviewers run into some User Error / User Education issue!

    *bites nails*

  5. Bill Curnow

    Considering the abysmal quality of many of the apps that pass the review process, I don’t know if I’d be too eager to brag on that process if I were you.

    I’d be more concerned with loss of market share. Yes, you had a version eWallet in the AppStore shortly after the store went live, but that version was all but useless for existing customers. For those of us who’ve relied on the mobile version of eWallet for years our choices were to (a) memorize hundreds of passwords, (b) enter all of that information manually into the iPhone version of eWallet or (c) start using another product.

    Granted, this is completely out of your hands. You’re held hostage to someone else’s schedule and no longer control your own destiny.

  6. Frustrated

    Thanks for the update Marc. Hopefully we’ll all experience sync one day in the far future ;-) Apple really isn’t impressing me, they desire way too much control. There are so many crap applications on the app store, I can’t believe they want to look at the desktop sync on eWallet. Seems like they apply different standards to different submissions.

  7. Marc Post author

    I think it is important to differentiate between applications that are lame, poorly conceived, or just dumb and applications that don’t work. Palm and Windows Mobile have long been plagued by applications that didn’t work at all or were just plain unstable.

    I’m OK with Apple letting dumb applications in if they work. What is worthless to me is pure gold for another person. I’m very happy, however, that every application I’ve purchased actually works.

  8. Marc Post author

    Yesterday – but that’s not an indication of anything. We learned long ago that things that seem simple can take days and things that seem hard can be done overnight. It might mean someone takes ten minutes to run the app. It might mean they need three days. That’s one area where the box is still pretty black.

  9. Simon D

    at least if they are asking for the desktop element they must be actually testing it?
    Here’s hoping we get it this week!

  10. Andrew

    As much as I hate waiting, I am hopeful that their process works. I would be nice to have things more open like the Android model, but with that comes risk. How long before a virus or worm is becomes the best free application in the Google store.

    Apple got egg on theif fast by missing the data that AuroFeint was sending back to their servers and I am betting that they don’t want that to happen again.

    Thanks Kevin and Marc for keeping us up to date.

  11. Marc Post author

    No problem Andrew.

    And regarding a completely open process without review, I’m not sure how many of you remember the original PalmGear site (they’ve recently relaunched but it’s a whole new ballgame.) At the original PalmGear site there were literally tens of thousands of apps (at least – I never counted.) Many were free. Most were cheap. But the entire site was a glut of software that became a nightmare to navigate, much less purchase software from.

    I’m very concerned that the Android store may end up the same way. I really wish Apple and Google would look back at what has happened before. Most of the problems Apple has had with the AppStore are things that happened in the Windows Mobile/Palm world when it was getting started. They really can avoid these issues if they look at the history of this industry.

  12. michael willis

    is there simply a way to copy the wallet file from the desktop? I imported all my records from codewallet (which worked fine with my verizon v69
    Verizon v6800) but will not retype them into iphone there are simply too many

  13. winston lawrence

    Ive paid for a couple of apps and downloaded some free ones – Ewallet is of course not only the most expensive one I’ve paid for its also the best (the other ones that I paid for at $2.00 and $4.00 have already been deleted). The reason why I deleted the other apps were because they were unstable/limited functionality/unnecessary once I jailbroke my Touch.

    So — Im not that impressed with the apple app store at this point. P.S copying an ewallet to the iTouch always (eventually if not the first time) results in a domain error message and loss of the ewallet data so im looking forward to sync like everyone else but I think you guys should consider allowing (if not actively supporting) jailbreak type data access.

  14. Gregg

    Marc – thanks for the updates. Like most of the comments mention, we understand the process, but it is still hard to wait. I have been entering data into both the iPhone and desktop versions and was ecstatic to hear we would be able to sync. This is like waiting for Christmas and not knowing on which day it will come. Not that I am impatient, but I check the App store twice a day. Thanks again.

  15. Tom G.

    Marc – I’ve used eWallet for years now… Love the App! Love it! Showed it to a friend 2 weeks ago, and he bought it and Loves It! I would rather wait for the update than use anything else. Keep up the great work!

  16. Gatorray

    I, for one, think this is good news. I am a former SplashID user and their syncing process was a mess and did not work for me. That is why I purchased eWallet. I hope the testing is thorough.

  17. David

    If eWallet doesn’t post today…I’m going to be really…really…really…incredibly SAD.

    BTW Have you noticed that before Labor Day, new apps would post on the App Store a little before midnight EST, with the calendar date of that next day. Now since Labor Day, new apps don’t post into well in the afternoon each day. It’s as though their posting schedule got bumped back by 18 hours. Weird.

  18. Mikey

    OK, the new iPhone client (6.1.2) appears to have been out for a day. Where’s the corresponding desktop client?

  19. Mikey

    Sorry, I forgot to add a smiley :-) to my previous post.

    I really don’t expect people to be working hard on a Sunday. :-)

  20. Stefan

    - bought the first Iphone Version of EWallet: great !
    - got the free desktop version for Windows : thats customer orientation !
    - bought the EWallet for Pocket PC : perfect sync !
    - today finally the new Iphone EWallet: Awsome sync in all possible directions !

    That´s what i call perfect.

    You guys are doing an awsome job !!! Thanks to all of you !

    Just like to know how i can get rid of the rest of my old free wallet on the Pocket PC ? Seems the deinstall doesn´t delete all the entries in the registry !

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